A fire fighting pump is a centrifugal pump used for supplying water to fire suppression systems. They can be designed for transportable use on fire fighting vehicles as integrated or front-mounted pumps, or for stationary applications such as hydrants and sprinkler systems. Fire fighting pumps are typically sized to NFPA 1901 (for sprinkler systems) or NFPA 25 (for water mist and foam systems).
When choosing the right fire pump it is important to balance horsepower, flow rate and pressure. You need a high enough flow rate to cover the system, a low enough head to reduce friction losses in the piping, and enough potential pressure to reach critical areas. Generally speaking, a 40-80 GPM system will allow for adequate protection and also be able to feed the larger foam kits to create an effective barrier against wildfire.
The fire pump selection process is best done with the help of a design engineer and the local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). All installations of fire safety equipment must comply with international standards, and the pump selection is no exception. Once the pump is installed, regular testing and maintenance should be performed to ensure that it will perform as required in a emergency. These regular tests should include checking that the fire pump will start up and ramp-up to full power output quickly (after a period of inactivity) and that the system will be able to achieve the required water flow and pressure.